Tchen Gi-Vane ‘Song of UNE NOYADE et LE Shadow’

01 To Go Beyond (4:41)
02 On The Ocean, I See, Toi, ‘No-else Land’ (5:48)
03 . . . But Why? (8:14)
04 Help Me . . . (3:26)
05 Where Are We, NOUS? (7:10)
06 Let Us Go, TOI ET MOI (4:56)
07 Do We Lie To Each Other, TOI ET MOI (9:16)
08 NE CHANTEZ PLUS!: ‘la do sol re la mi si’ (9:49)
09 Always, We See (6:42)
10 SOLEIL VERT (3:12)
11 [unidentified ideograms] (6:06)

Total time: 69:15
Self released CD, TGV 001, 1997

成之凡 Tchen Gi-Vane (apparently born 1928) is a painter, piano player, composer and Tao teacher living in France. She studied piano and composition in Hong Kong with Russian and Viennese teachers (getting acquainted with western dodecaphonic composition), then moved to France in 1951. On ‘Song of UNE NOYADE et LE Shadow’, Tchen Gi-Vane plays gongs, small bells, tibetan cymbals, javanese angklung, reciting voice, over-dubbed vocals and sound effects. Her music doesn’t aim at melody, prefering instead the creation of webs of microtonal (‘unpitched’) sounds from metallophones combined with poem recitation close to stream-of-consciousness technique. Her writings are a complex intertwining of English, French and Chinese languages. She marvels at unusal English or French words and phonemes, playing with their sound and meaning, creating very personal associations between languages, a bit like the surrealists did. Her use of capital letters, for instance, is very personal and a typographic equivalent of her musical style, full of surprising loud and low sonorities, unexpected sounds and instrument combinations. Or as she puts it in the booklet: ‘This poetry better ressembles the fame of a theater play with chorus and dances’. This is in no way meditative or ethnic music, rather a kind of Chinese Nurse With Wound, mandarin Chrystal Belle Scrodd or Eve Libertine (singer with Crass). Truly unique and possibly the weirdest Compact Disc in my collection. I assume she considers provocation as part of her Tao teaching, for in 1981 she ran for the position of President of French Republic as well. She also released a 2nd CD titled ‘TAO Nature Returning’. See her website for more info and mp3 excerpts. Below is a list of her collection of instruments, noticeable for its amazing variety (only a fraction of it is used on this CD):

Yin & Yang gongs,
Tibetan cymbals,
Confucean monocords (Confucius Kong Tse),
Javanese angklung,
Cambodgian bamboo & wood xylophones,
Tantric drum,
Japanese high-pitched bells,
Bronze bells from Auvergne (center of France),
Thaï gongs,
Japanese & Taiwanese mu-yus,
Pei-wan castanets,
Indochina resonating sheet of metal,
Japanese gongs,
Shanghai drums,
Burmese sheet of metal,
African wooden xylophone,
African likembes,

Download (32p PDF booklet included).


6 Responses to “Tchen Gi-Vane ‘Song of UNE NOYADE et LE Shadow’”

  1. 1 Ankh October 16, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    Hello Continuo. Please visit my blog. If you like Meredith Monk you will find there 3 albums by this famous artist.

  2. 2 continuo October 16, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Thanks for dropping by, Ankh. Keep on the good work.

  3. 3 John Jacobs December 17, 2009 at 4:29 am

    Hey Continuo,

    It was really great to learn a bit more about and more importantly hear Tchen’s incredible work!

    Thank you so much for all your wonderful efforts on behalf of interesting culture, we really appreciate it.

    I produce an arts and culture collage program on Australian national radio you might enjoy some time called the Night Air. I think I’ll have to make an opening for Tchen some time soon.

    Cheers, John.

  4. 4 continuo December 17, 2009 at 6:18 am

    Hi John. I’ll check some of your radio shows. Thanks for dropping by.

  5. 5 Marcus Staniec February 25, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    I have been looking for this a while back when I heard of it.
    Of course I eventually forgot about it – you could imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon it here.
    And a curious adventure it is!
    As always, thanks so much continuo!

  6. 6 continuo February 25, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Well, I try to surprise readers whenever possible.

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